If you're really hankering for a studio yoga class this summer, I've compiled a handy list of some of my favorite studios and their summer schedules. Even if you find a class through this list, it's probably best to call to make sure your chosen class is happening that day. After all, it is still August in Paris people! If you don't know what I mean by that, here's one of many articles chronicling the phenomenon.
Rasa Yoga (rive gauche) Open all summer with a reduced schedule of 4 classes a day which can be found here.
21 rue Saint Jacques
+33 (0)1 43 54 14 59
Metro: St Michel (Ligne 4) or Cluny La Sorbonne (Ligne 10)
BeYoga Open all of August with a reduced schedule of 3 classes a day can be found here.
17 rue Campagne Première
+33 (0)9 65 31 60 11
Metro: Raspail (Ligne 4, 6)
Centre de Yoga du Marais Open all summer with a reduced schedule of one class per evening can be found here.
72 rue du Vertbois
+33 (0)1 42 74 24 92
Metro: Réamur-Sébastopol (Ligne 3, 4) or Strasbourg Saint Denis (Ligne 4, 8, 9) or Arts et Métiers (Ligne 3) or Arts et Métiers (Ligne 11)
Trini Yoga Closed August 15-August 22, reduced schedule for the remainder of August here.
24 rue d'Enghien
Enter at 24, 2e cour à gauche
+33 (0)6 03 53 08 42
Metro: Bonne-Nouvelle (Ligne 8, 9) or Strasbourg St. Denis (Ligne 4, 8, 9)
Big Apple Yoga Closed August 1-August 20. Their online schedule is normally up to date.
20 Rue Dussoubs
+33 (0)1 42 36 76 11
Metro: Réamur-Sébastopol (Ligne 3, 4) or Etienne Marcel (Ligne 4) or Sentier (Ligne 3)
Yoga Village Closed August 8-September 1
39 Boulevard des Capucines
escalier B, 1 er étage
+33 (0)1 72 34 58 47
Metro: Madeleine (Ligne 8, 12, 14) or Opera (Ligne 3, 7, 8)
My first summer in Paris, I was awed and flabbergasted with the number of restaurants, bakeries, butchers, cheese shops and liquor shops closed the entire month of August. I even wrote a blog post about it back when I was blogging about food and traveling and back when my wrist was still broken and I couldn't do yoga. I've since realized that in addition to having to walk a few extra blocks for a good baguette, you really have to search for yoga classes in the summertime in Paris. If you eventually find a class, you might show up to find it has been cancelled last minute. It has happened to me, in July! Since many of my friends are out of town during vacation time, I often find myself idle, and need of some human interaction and what better way to get that than a great yoga class. Unfortunately, I often find myself S.O.L. (look it up) because like everyone else in Paris, my favorite teachers are also on vacation or having retreats in some sunny beautiful lush local. I have the option to teach myself a yoga class, but many of you aren't quite familiar enough to do so for yourselves, and I often get requests around this time from students for online classes they can take. Usually, it's to get them through a week or two, so I've compiled a couple of recommended links for all you Paris yogis who will be around in dire need of yoga this summer, or just anytime you're looking to do some yoga at home. If you have a favorite online home for yoga classes, free or not, let me know. I'll check it out and perhaps add it to the list!
Updated: I had a couple of websites for free yoga, but they are no longer useable.
Subscription services (monthly) that are low cost compared to Paris yoga classes and have free trial periods (as of last check):
Has an almost overwhelming selection of well curated well filmed classes in all genres and styles. I've taken classes with a few of these teachers in real life, and they're quite good. Jason Crandell is one of my favorites.
Also has a good selection of well filmed classes. I've taken many a classes with Pete Guinosso in San Francisco in real life, and he has a few here that are very good. I also saw a press release that they were now offering prenatal/postnatal classes too. And it looks like Yoga Journal has snatched them up recently. They do have a few very short free classes (5 minutes).
I've never taken a full class with Aiofe, but she's a fantastic spark of a woman, and a kick ass yogi. And I recognize quite a few of the names of the teachers, so let me know if you enjoy it.
This website is pretty geeky, but they have a good selection of all different kinds of yoga for all different kinds of people.
I do quite a bit of research looking for studios, teachers, and classes to try in Paris. I follow Parisians' yoga blogs, have a google Alert, and chat with my classmates and fellow teachers all in an effort to find the best yoga for you, my dear readers!
There are many little and -little known- yoga studios in Paris, but for a reason that I can't recall, I decided to try Casa Yoga before the other smaller ones.
I was welcomed by a lovely woman who knew my name upon arrival, asked me if I had any injuries (I didn't get a -formerly broken arm lecture!), and requested that I fill out their form. You have to sign up for a trial class 'cours d'essai, so I guess I was the odd man out, the only one she didn't recognize, or maybe just the only one taking a trial course that night. Actually, you have to sign up for any class you decide to take as it seems that walk-ins aren't encouraged. They have an interesting system for class payment and scheduling. You buy credits and use them depending on the length of the class. The cours d'essai was only 15€, but it was also only an hour, and it felt like the shortest yoga class I had ever taken. The minimum 'credit' you can purchase is 10hrs of classes for 160€. When you think about it in 1hr classes, at 16€ a class, it's not so bad, but most studios offer classes of 1.5 hours, and when you add that up, it makes for a 24€ class, and that's a hefty price tag.
It turns out, she had good reason to be kind because she was teaching the class that night, and you always want return students. She welcomed us all kindly, shut the door, and started teaching a nice paced Vinyasa flow. It was a level 2 class, so there were even some arm balances! But just when I started to get a little sweaty, the cool down began. One hour was too short!
The entrance is warm and peaceful, and there is free decaf tea (tisane) waiting for the students in a lovely sitting area. The dressing room is a large curtained off area, and it's nicely lit and furnished, but there is only one, so prepare to share. And the actual studio is one really long room where the teacher does her thing from the middle of a line of yogi's. Not the best setup (in my opinion), but it's doable. If you live in the hood, have the money, and want that neighborhood feel (reception was nice, but not necessarily the fellow students) it's a really peaceful studio to practice in. I'm not sure if it was the surroundings, or the teacher, but I had one of the deepest savasanas (corpse pose - final resting pose) I've had in a while there, and that is (almost) priceless.
Casa Yoga Paris
4 rue de Paradis
06 17 81 64 91
Metro: Gare de l'Est (Lignes 4,5,7), Poissonniere (Ligne 7), Chateau d'Eau (Ligne 4)
Price: 15€ for a cours d'essai (trial course) 16€ per hour with a minimum purchase of 10 hours
Yoga Styles: Vinyasa, Restorative, Prenatal
Changing Rooms: yes co-ed
Secure Lockers: no
Water: Free herbal tea (tisane).
Pros - Really nice warm relaxing comfortable lovely smelling neighborhood-y studio with good flowy classes.
Cons - Expensive or short classes, no walk-ins -so no spontaneity, just a few teachers teach all the classes at the studio.
Big Apple is only a 20 minute metro ride from me and it's small enough that the ambiance is neighborhood-y and not stuffy. It's really nice to have a great studio so close and convenient, you know, on those days that I just don't want to practice alone at home. But since I do have a home practice, I can't bring myself to pay full price for a class and lucky for me, they have 10€ classes at 10am, two of which are in English! They are taught by beginner teachers, but I've taken classes with both Jo (English) and Julia (French) and they're both very competent, so if you're available at 10 am I highly recommend these classes, they're way better than some of the full priced classes I've taken in Paris!
**Please check their schedule for community classes** to verify the days and times!
I got an email in my inbox a few months ago with the subject deeyoga, and I thought to myself, 'hey, someone actually reads my blog'. Cool. The author thanked me for my support of Yoga Solidaire and said there would be a new 2 hour class for yoga teachers and advanced students every Friday at 10 am at Yoga Village for the very reasonable price of 15€. I said that I'm not so much an advanced student, since my (formerly) broken wrist prevents me from doing many arm balances and inversions, but he said it wasn't about that, so I decided to check it out. With a little digging, I found out he's the owner of Yoga Village, and when I saw him for the second time, I realized he was also the reception and the reason I like the studio so much. He's so kind and welcoming and has such a great presence, and I later thanked him for being not so Parisian.
Often I tell teachers that I have a (formerly) broken arm when I take yoga classes. It's good that they know because I often modify poses, and I don't want them to think they're hurting me. So I get in this 10am class, and for the first time in a while, a teacher actually asked if we had any injuries he needed to know about. So piped up and said I had a (formerly) broken arm. And then came the 5 minute lecture (I may be exaggerating) about why maybe I shouldn't be doing Vinyasa, and maybe I should be doing another type of yoga, and maybe it was too much etc. etc. with a little, 'but I'm not a doctor' thrown in for good measure. Holy moly! I wonder if he expected me to leave?
Lesson 1 of being a yoga teacher: When you ask students if they have injuries, either ask them privately and then lecture -or not-, so the whole class doesn't hear OR Lesson 2: ask them in front of everyone and expect them to not tell you because they've previously had a teacher like Benoît. Now that you know not to tell him about your injuries, I can tell you about his class. I actually went to the class twice, because I wasn't sure I liked it the first time, and I'm still kind of unsure if I like it. I have 3 general criteria for returning to a yoga class: 1. It was awesomely sweaty 2. It taught me a ton of alignment / sequencing / poses variations or 3. I am a relaxed happy monkey after. These, of course, can be combined for extra points. It was a sweaty class! Two hours of vinyasa can surely make a girl sweaty, but I'm undecided about whether that makes up for the rest of it...
The first thing I noticed about Benoît is that he has a nervous energy. He does a bit of pacing, he talks quickly, he moves from one pose to another without allowing time to explore the pose, and his demeanor just feels harried, which means you move a lot, but it's not particularly relaxing, and one of his most used phrases is, 'ne forcez pas' or 'don't force it'. He rarely touches his students, which, admittedly, is hard to do when you're teaching a fast paced Vinyasa class, and I don't find that his alignment queues are very useful for my practice, but that could be because it's in French, and I've told you about my french proficiency here. And during Savasana of the first class, instead of holding the space for the students, he left the studio to do something or other. He is apparently funny, because many of the students laughed out loud during the last class. Thing is, either he was talking too fast for me to catch the joke, or, like many French jokes, I just didn't get it. Every time. Such a bummer.
The first hour of this particular class is quite good with nice flow and linking of poses, and variations that are interesting, even though we don't have much time to explore them, but the second hour of the last class felt like an ashtanga based (i.e. not super flowy) arm balancing and inversion workshop, which, as I previously stated, isn't very useful for me. I'm curious about his other classes, but I don't think I'll pay 20something euros to find out. However, if you're looking for a class where you can actually do some inversions and arm balances (which aren't much taught in all levels classes here in Paris) plus get super sweaty, and you've been practicing for a while so you know when to not do that extra Vinyasa, this class is a good Power Yoga class, even for West Coast standards.
Teacher: Benoît Le Gourriérec
Studio: Yoga Village
Class: Advanced Vinyasa
Feel Good Vibe: ★★★
Spiritual Lesson: No spiritual lesson. Just a few Ohm's and a lecture about my (formerly) broken arm.
Would I pay 20€ to take a class with him? I'll probably take another 15€ class, but probably not a 20€ class.
Paris' indian summer has begun and it's agreeably warm and sunny today, so I ventured out to Big Apple Yoga for a Bhakti Flow yoga class. It's been, what, 6 years since I took a Bhakti class with the man himself, Rusty Wells and phew, today was sweatier than I remember. More on that in another post. Since the husband is gone early next week, I decided to sign up for their introductory special, 10 days of unlimited yoga for 35€, and I plan on taking a class every day for the next 10 days. Now, all at once, send a little healing love because I think my husband has also shared his cold with me...
Their tagline is "Made in New York", and, well, it does feel very anglo. There was a lovely airy American woman working the front desk, and despite it being in a central neighborhood, they've managed to secure some ground floor space for the studio. No key codes and trying to find the right stairs = A+! They have top notch cushy sticky manduka mats (rental comes with your 10 day trial) and they even, sort of, have managed to have 2 yoga rooms, either one big L shaped room, or 2 littler rooms with a thick separator, but still not near soundproof. Plus they have a good number of the well known Paris teachers on their schedule. That's about it, though, in terms of perks. There is one toilet and an unmarked shower room, but the only 'changing room' is a teeny curtained off corridor, so prepare to bare all, possibly in front of the opposite sex, or show up geared up. There was one guy in class today, and he was super duper respectful and courteous. He showed up early, changed before the ladies needed to, and just as class finished, grabbed his gear from the corridor and changed back to his streetwear in the studio. Props dude. Props. Despite the crowded changing room, they've done a good job of efficiently using a small-ish ground floor space.
Big Apple Yoga
20 Rue DUSSOUBS
+33 1 42 36 76 11
Metro: Réamur-Sébastopol / Etienne Marcel (Ligne 4) or Réamur-Sébastopol / Sentier (Ligne 3)
Price: 20€ a class (excellent 10 day trial offer -35€ and reduced 10 and 20 class passes available)
Yoga Styles: Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Anusara, Jivamukti, Prenatal, Bhakti
Languages: English and French (check schedule for availability)
Changing Rooms: 1 but it's more like a corridor
Secure Lockers: none
Water: dispenser with glasses
Pros - They have lots of options if you like your yoga in English. They have only flowy fast paced classes (no Yin/Hatha) ***as of Dec 2013, one Yin -community- class has been added at 10am Thursday***. And they have some of the better known French teachers on the rosters. Plus, they have 10€ community classes in the mornings! (Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri)
Cons - They only have flowy fast paced classes (no Yin/Hatha). They have a corridor instead of a changing room, and it gets crowded.
I've just gotten back from another class at Rasa Yoga where it seems they too have raised the price for a single class to 22€. And even though my mind is now fine with Euros, I sometimes shock and awe myself with the price in USD (29.81). So if you're looking for reasonably priced classes in Paris, and you have a flexible schedule, might I suggest you check out Yoga Solidaire. Well trained and experienced teachers in Paris have gotten together to offer you lovely Parisian students cheap yoga! They've organized studio spaces at odd hours or random locations, created a website, and show up at least 4 times a week all so that you can do more yoga for cheap. I attended a class at Yoga Village last week, and loved it. It was expertly taught by a perfectly bilingual teacher, the studio is fantastic, and the students were super happy to be bending for cheap. Top notch all around.
Yoga Solidaire Schedule Here
Like you, I'm discovering the world of yoga in Paris. Perhaps unlike you, I can teach myself a decent yoga class. Yes, it's great for me to get to a studio class with a really good professor, who gives me a different perspective on alignment in a certain pose, or who does a great sequence that I can 'borrow' for my classes, but I'm loathe to pay 20€ for a class that isn't as good as the one I can teach myself, and it really is hit or miss here. My solution to this problem is to check out different studios and teachers in Paris with introductory rates. At some point, I will have used up all my trial classes or 'cours d'essai' and will have to pay (but will probably have figured out the yoga scene, and with whom I'm willing to pay to take classes with) but for now, I'm still milking it.
This weekend was no exception. Ashtanga Yoga Paris had an open house on Sunday, and I took the opportunity to check out their studio. The vinyasa 'class' I took was a little less than half an hour, and although it wasn't bad, I won't attempt to review the teacher, it just wouldn't be fair.
The studio itself is very cute. They have 2 useable rooms with nice wood floors well equipped with all the necessary accoutrements, blocks, straps, wedges, blankets, one of which has a glass ceiling to let the sunshine in. It was clean and not at all smelly after non stop all day use -a good sign. Like many of the studios, it's key code accessible, and has its own ground floor courtyard entrance. It's not super luxurious, but that just makes it all the more attractive for us normal yogis. It's created and run by an extensively trained husband wife couple who, in addition to teaching classes to the public, offer teacher trainings. I had seen their studio mentioned somewhere before, but never made it to a class, mostly because their pricing scheme seems complicated. A 20€ yearly subscription to buy multiple class passes or a monthly/weekly/yearly unlimited pass, mats are available for an additional weekly/monthly/yearly fee. Beginner classes are priced differently than Restorative, which are priced differently than 1.5hr classes, and they even offer 1hr classes, but the prices for those aren't found on their 'tariffs' page. Sounds complicated!? I think so too.
If you've been practicing mysore every morning, and just moved (are moving) to Paris, this is likely a great place to practice. Make sure to find an apartment near the Bastille. If you're visiting Paris (or just moved here) and want to take a class or two (a week), it's probably not the most flexible place to take a class, though, if you're in the same building, and it's convenient, they do have 'visitor' pricing. They also apparently have classes in English, but I couldn't find them on the schedule.
Ashtanga Yoga Paris
40 Ave de la Republique
+33 1 45 80 19 96 or +33 6 20 38 25 72 or +33 6 22 32 52 16
Metro: Parmentier (Ligne 3)
Price: 22€ for a 1.5h visitor class (otherwise complicated)
Yoga Styles: Ashtanga, Mysore, Yin/Restorative, Vinyasa
Languages: English? and French
Changing Rooms: yes
Secure Lockers: no
Mats: 2€ supplemental
Water: (and tea) 2€ a bottle (cup)
Pros - Two practice rooms, very well educated teacher co-founders still teaching at their studio, seemingly not stuffy or elitist with a neighborhood-y feeling.
Cons - Complicated pricing that requires yearly 'dues' and encourages unlimited class pass purchases and classification levels.
I am pleased to announce the first public yoga class with Denise. This Sunday at 11 am (weather permitting), we will meet in a park not far from Metro Sèvres Babylone/Saint François Xavier at 11. The class is free (donations accepted, but NOT encouraged). Try not to eat a big meal 2 hrs before, bring your own mat, a coffee/tea/water if you like, and a friend. The more the merrier. Contact me for more details and the exact location.
CLASS CANCELLED due to rain.
The day after I arrived in France, I decided to skip a movie with friends, and take a juicy yoga class. Who needs to see a movie in your native tongue after being immersed in 10 different languages in 6 months. I just wanted to lay down my mat on a clean floor and breathe. I found a studio in central Paris that was English friendly, and I was on my way! It happened to be in July, the 15th, so I looked up the schedule online, chose a class and showed up, only to be told that that class was cancelled, there was no replacement teacher, and there was certainly no apology. It was the summer time. And though it took me another year to fully comprehend, I now get it (I think). It was vacation time, and during vacation time, Paris is a wasteland, schedules are reduced, restaurants are closed, flower shops are shuttered possibly all of July and probably all of August. It's a phenomenon, and I know your French isn't great, but call anyway, just to make sure. Just say "parlez-vous anglais" they speak English.
Months and months later, after a broken arm, many too many surgeries, and lots of pain, I finally took my first yoga class at Rasa. It was great, the teacher was kind and understanding, and spoke perfect English and French. The studio is in a beautiful space, and according to reviews, one of the best in the world. It's hidden behind a huge old French wooden door that opens to a secluded courtyard. Tranquility is part of the experience. But it's also 'one of the best yoga studios in the world' and it knows it. Once you get buzzed in and make your way to the studio, you're greeted by a serenely decorated space, with antique-y hindu deity statues, a rattan floor, a tastefully integrated yoga gear shop, a no shoe policy (didn't you know) and a Parisian at the front desk. The 2 yoga rooms are nicely sized, (one being larger than the other) clean, have lovely wooden floors, and lots of natural light. There are proper bathrooms, large changing rooms with lockers and keys, and even a couple of massage rooms for your after yoga 'detente'. It is not 'populaire' by any means, and I might expect to see a celebrity one day, if I didn't know they took private classes. But I'm certainly not complaining that I'm not next to 'that' guy/gal who forgot his/her deodorant (bath) today (this week).
Rasa Yoga (rive gauche)
21 rue Saint Jacques
+33 (0)1 43 54 14 59
Metro: St Michel (Ligne 4) or Cluny La Sorbonne (Ligne 10)
Price: 22€ a class (reduced 10 and 20 class passes available)
Yoga Styles: Hatha, Mysore, Ashtanga, Yin, Vinyasa, Iyengar, Alignment (formerly Anusara), Mommy and Me
Languages: English and French (check schedule for availability)
Changing Rooms: 2 (not separated by sex)
Secure Lockers: included in class fee
Mats: included in class fee
Showers: yes (towels for hire or bring your own)
Water: (bottled, room temp) - $$
Pros - Two practice rooms, clean, bright, amply sized changing rooms, showers.
Cons - A little musty after a sweaty class, changing rooms not separated by sex, website has teacher first name only with no bio's or links.
Former San Francisco DNA wrangler and current Paris yoga teacher and mom. Sharing. Caution: Possibly too much.